🌎 The Fed slows down

Plus: What doth Meta foretell?
🌎 The Fed slows down

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points. In announcing its smallest raise in nearly a year, the Fed made changes to the data it considers as part of its interest-rate calculus.

Wall Street loved Meta’s plan to make 2023 its “year of efficiency.” Facebook’s parent company beat earnings expectations and announced share buybacks that sent its stock price up almost 20% (see more below).

The US boosted its defense and diplomatic efforts in the Asia Pacific. The Philippines agreed to an increased American military presence on its soil, while the US embassy in the Solomon Islands reopened after 30 years.

Adani Enterprises scrapped its $2.4 billion share sale. The Indian conglomerate called off its stock offering after fraud allegations triggered an $86 billion wipeout in its market value.

The FBI is investigating congressman George Santos over an alleged GoFundMe swindle. A veteran accused Santos of disappearing on him after raising $3,000 to get life-saving surgery for his dog.

Uruguay is the strongest democracy in the Americas. The South American nation topped Canada and the US in an annual ranking of the world’s most, and least, democratic countries.

What to watch for

Four of the biggest tech companies in the US report results this week, and you can expect to see some downward-pointing arrows.

Meta, who reported on Wednesday, beat expectations thanks to cost-cutting measures, though it still struggles with declining ad revenue and higher costs. Will it be the same for the Big A Trio, who all release earnings today (Feb. 2)?

📱 Apple: The iPhone maker is expected to post its first year-over-year revenue decline in four years owing to covid lockdowns in China and factory unrest hitting both supply and demand.

📦 Amazon: The retail and cloud computing juggernaut prepared investors for sliding results, citing increased costs amid investments in its fulfillment capacity.

👨‍💻 Alphabet: Google’s parent company, which cut 12,000 jobs earlier this month, will likely witness a significant slide in ad revenue—one that even its growing cloud business can’t make up for.

But maybe don’t stress too much on an overall economic impact. All sorts of analysts are calling Big Tech shakiness a post-pandemic correction that still leaves these companies with plenty of cash to swim around in.

The UK has some regrets

It’s been a rough three years for the UK. The combined effect of the pandemic and Brexit, compounded by the wider regional and global impacts of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, has led to a widespread sense of frustration and regret.

Let’s look at how Brexit has measured up to expectations:

🏭 Jobs and pay: Brexit advocates said the split would protect jobs, but the UK is now having an unemployment and labor poly-crisis.

🔄 Immigration: Because of said jobs—and also because of some plain, old-fashioned racism—Brexiteers wanted to block the tide of incoming humans, but leaving the EU has only changed the flows of people, not solved the perceived problem of migration.

💷 Economy: While inflation and high energy prices are rampant across Europe, the UK has had a particularly tough time, and is the only G7 economy projected to contract this year.

India’s budget, decoded

India’s annual and somewhat exhausting tradition of a very long budget speech, given yesterday by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is as much a political exercise for those in power as it is a fiscal one. And while the Indian government has long embraced acronyms and monikers, PM Narendra Modi’s crew has taken naming to a new level. Staring at the alphabet soup (with a side of word salad) and wondering what it all means?

Niharika Sharma is here to lead you through the maze of devoted references to Hindu ideology and to Modi himself.

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…and Chinese caves are harboring unicorns. They’re actually blind, horned fish but they do kind of give off an ethereal energy.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, rescued Greek demigods, and mythical beasts that don’t quite live up to expectations to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ananya Bhattacharya, Cassie Werber, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Susan Howson.